In the early years of his career, John Byrne broke out as the artist of Marvel’s X-Men during one of the most famous periods in the team’s history. Alongside writer Chris Claremont, Byrne crafted some of the best X-Men stories of all time, including The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past.
Byrne eventually left Uncanny X-Men to write and draw his own stories for Fantastic Four, Superman, and several other titles. While Byrne’s X-Men days were far behind him, his love for the characters may give him his first Marvel project in several years. But don’t get excited just yet. As Byrne himself states, “There’s nothing to announce yet, but it’s out there in the ozone.”
SYFY WIRE recently visited Byrne in his studio, where he briefly touched upon a recent meeting he had with Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski about a potential return to the X-Men. As noted above, there’s no deal in place. But there was clearly interest from Marvel about the potential reunion.
According to Byrne, his new X-Men story came about largely as a mental exercise to see if he could still make comics the way he did when he was at Marvel.
“Somebody had asked me on my forum whether there was any chance that I would go back to Marvel. And I got to thinking about it. ‘Can I go back to Marvel? Can I even still do that? Can I pencil for someone else to ink?’ I thought, ‘Let's pretend it would be a kind of an elseworld were Phoenix didn't die.”
From there, Byrne drew several pages on spec and began posting them on his forum. That caught Cebulski’s attention, and led to their meeting. Whether it will also lead to Byrne’s return to the X-Men and Marvel remains to be seen. But he certainly seems excited to work with these characters again.
For intel direct from Byrne, check out the full video, then let us know your thoughts in the comments below!